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2013-09-09

Hong Kong’s First Franchised Battery-Powered Electric Bus (eBus) on Maiden Trip

Introduced by KMB, eBus, Hong Kong’s first ever franchised battery-powered electric bus, will be put into service this afternoon (9 September, 2013). The start of its passenger service on Route 2 between Tsim Sha Tsui Star Ferry Bus Terminus and So Uk marks a zero-emission milestone for KMB and takes the Hong Kong public bus industry to new heights in environmental protection.

The kick-off ceremony for the maiden trip of eBus was held at Star Ferry Bus Terminus, Tsim Sha Tsui, this morning, officiated by Mr. Wong Kam Sing, JP, Secretary for the Environment. “Today marks an important day as Hong Kong runs its first franchised electric bus for use by the public. To protect public health and improve air quality, especially roadside air quality, the Environment Bureau unveiled ‘A Clean Air Plan for Hong Kong’ in March. The plan, outlining various measures to improve air quality, includes subsidizing franchised bus companies to retrofit some 1,400 Euro II and Euro III franchised buses with selective catalytic reduction devices. Moreover, the Government has allocated $180 million to fund the franchised bus companies, including KMB, to procure 36 electric buses for trial in different bus routes,” said Mr. Wong after the ceremony.

Meanwhile, Mr. Edmond Ho, KMB Managing Director, said, “Serving Hong Kong for 80 years in the pursuit of excellence, KMB has always been committed to introducing the latest bus technologies. Following the introduction of the first double-decker in 1949 and the world’s first super-low floor air-conditioned double-decker in 1997, KMB now presents the zero-emission eBus, signifying a big stride forward in its efforts towards continuous improvement and opening a new chapter for Hong Kong public bus services.”

Jointly developed by KMB and the manufacturer, the single-deck eBus, 12 metres long, has a maximum capacity of 66 passengers and is capable of running at a speed of around 70 km per hour. eBus is powered by lithium iron phosphate batteries. eBus takes only about three hours to be fully charged by means of a cable in the charging station of the bus depots, which is plugged into the eBus socket. When fully charged, eBus can travel distances of more than 180 km.

To ensure eBus matches KMB’s existing bus fleet, the manufacturer adopted a number of imported components in its design, such as the front-axle, steering system, air-conditioning system, bus gates, passenger seats, floor, bus body paint and related components. All these components meet European standards as well as KMB’s strict standards for its vehicles. Having been licensed by the Transport Department, eBus is a franchised bus for the provision of passenger services in Hong Kong.

In terms of safety, the manufacturer has equipped eBus with several specially designed enhanced features. The battery-monitoring system allows bus captains to check the voltage, current and temperature of each battery and turn off the electricity supply if necessary. In addition, the electricity supply will automatically be turned off if any abnormality is detected. Further, at the request of KMB, steel plates with a melting point of 1,300 degrees Celsius have been installed on the battery box for fire resistance.

After eBus arrived in Hong Kong in September 2012, KMB trialed it for more than seven months with no passengers on board, focusing on driving range, reliability, durability, battery performance, battery management systems, and motor and mechanical performance, as well as driving performance in different weather and road conditions. In May 2013, KMB further trialed it by arranging for it to operate as a staff shuttle, running between Lai Chi Kok Depot and KMB Headquarters. So far about 20,000 staff passenger trips have been made on eBus.

To further assess its performance on one of the busiest roads in Hong Kong, KMB will run eBus on Route 2, which runs between Tsim Sha Tsui Star Ferry Bus Terminus and So Uk via Nathan Road, in the morning and evening peak hours for one month, starting this afternoon (Monday, 9 September). KMB will then review the operational performance of eBus and decide the next phase of the trial.

KMB will purchase eight supercapacitor buses and ten battery-powered buses funded by the Government through a tendering process. The buses are expected to start serving the public in the second half of 2014. KMB will then analyse the data and work out a set of requirements for battery-powered buses that can best fit the operational and passenger needs in Hong Kong.

 

Details of eBus
 

Bus Body
12 metres (L) x 2.55 metres (W) x 3.36 metres (H)
Model
Single-deck air-conditioned bus
Maximum Capacity
66 passengers
Maximum speed
around 70km per hour
Gradeability
16%
Operating principle
eBus is an electric bus powered by a lithium iron phosphate battery. This battery is the same size as a lead-acid battery, but has quadruple the electric energy storage, quarter the weight, a 4-times faster charging time and a 6-times longer life span. The chemical substances in the battery are converted into electrical energy and vice versa during discharging and charging. The battery, contains no heavy metals, can also capture energy from regenerative braking, making it more efficient in terms of electricity consumption per km.
Charging method
The bus takes only about 3 hours for a full charge, which will usually take place at the depot at night. To charge, a cable from the charging cabinet is plugged into the eBus socket.
Longest travelling distance when fully charged
More than 180 km* (the actual driving range depends on the usage of the air-conditioning system)
Midway charging time (if applicable)
No charging station is needed midway
Roadside emission
Zero

 
*the distance from Tsim Sha Tsui to Tai Po (at least 7 single journeys)
 

 Secretary for the Environment Mr. Wong Kam Sing (middle) and KMB Managing Director Mr. Edmond Ho (left) launched KMB’s first eBus into service.

Secretary for the Environment Mr. Wong Kam Sing (middle) and KMB Managing Director Mr. Edmond Ho (left) launched KMB’s first eBus into service.

Secretary for the Environment Mr. Wong Kam Sing (left) and KMB Managing Director Mr. Edmond Ho (right) inside the eBus compartment.

 Secretary for the Environment Mr. Wong Kam Sing (left) and KMB Managing Director Mr. Edmond Ho (right) inside the eBus compartment.
Secretary for the Environment Mr. Wong Kam Sing (left) and KMB Managing Director Mr. Edmond Ho (right) inside the eBus compartment.

  Secretary for the Environment Mr. Wong Kam Sing (left) and KMB Managing Director Mr. Edmond Ho (right) experienced the zero-emission eBus.
Secretary for the Environment Mr. Wong Kam Sing (left) and KMB Managing Director Mr. Edmond Ho (right) experienced the zero-emission eBus.

eBus will serve Route 2, which runs between Star Ferry Bus Terminus and So Uk, in the morning and evening peak hours for one month.
eBus will serve Route 2, which runs between Star Ferry Bus Terminus and So Uk, in the morning and evening peak hours for one month.

eBus 充電過程

 eBus 充電過程
Charging the eBus

Appearance of the eBus
Appearance of the eBus 

eBus 車廂

 eBus 車廂

eBus 車廂
Inside the compartment of eBus

eBus 並非由引擎驅動,在傳統巴士的引擎位置現在放置了一些電機及輔助機械系統
The eBus is not powered by an engine. Instead, it is powered by batteries and other mechanical systems

 

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